Skip to main content

KnightThon at UCF Raises $1.25 Million at 2017 Dance Marathon

Paraphrased from Brandon Kraut – Executive Director

Every hour on the hour we dance to our 8 minute morale dance, followed by a miracle story from one of our ambassador families. Everyone in the building takes a knee, as a sign of respect, and listens to the heartwarming stories of these little kids. In-between and after these instances, we had multiple events, like our Mr. and Mrs. Knight-Thon competition, where pairs of men and women compete for royalty. We had our Miracle Kid Talent show, Knight-Thon pong, a video game truck, and even a blind dating game.

Our miracle families lived a life of luxury in our family room, equipped with games, food, drinks, and a safe space from all the madness. After their miracle story on the main stage, all of the teams that were paired with that miracle child were able to take pictures with them, give gifts, and play 4 square, corn hole, and color. The kids even got to have their own talent show, some singing and dancing, others played guitar and told knock knock jokes. The kids are the superstars of our event.

Over 1,200 participants started their day off with a toast of Arnold Palmer tea, in honor of his dedication to serving the children of Orlando, and starting the hospital that we hold dear to our hearts. We toast to his legacy, and the chances that he has given thousands of children in the Orlando area.

Our highlights are the Knight Rave we had early in the morning, and Silent Disco, in which dancers are handed headphones with their own music station, and everyone rocks out together, each listening to their own songs. It’s amusing to watch from the outside, as you hear no music playing, but see a thousand people dancing anyway. We also had a hypnotist, a crowd favorite every year. During down times, dancers could buy merchandise, participate in silent auctions, buy puppy passes, send people to ‘jail’, as well as buying different incentives like sit down passes and showers. Overall, our dancers were never bored, and up until that $1.25 million total reveal, they were engaged and entertained every minute.

All of these efforts could not have happened without the committed support of our sponsor Love’s Travel Stops. A partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Love’s Travel Stops has sponsored over 20 Dance Marathon programs across the United States. Thanks to all the students at the University of Central Florida who participated in KnightThon for the kids at Arnold Palmer Medical Center.